By Rita R. Robison
Over the last year or so, I’ve received dozens of robocalls from Cardholder Services and other companies. Lately, the pitch from a frequent caller is to take a 30-minute political survey and get a free trip to the Caribbean.
My sister suggested selecting option No. 2, which is supposed to take you off the robocall list. I’ll see how that works.
Robocalls pitching goods or services to consumers are illegal unless you've given the caller permission to call you, according to the Federal Trade Commission. And, in addition, it’s most likely that the pitch is a scam.
The FTC said in a statement that it’s cracking down on illegal robocalls offering fraudulent credit card services, auto warranty protection, home security systems, and grant procurement programs.
Fraudulent telemarketers often manipulate Caller ID information to hide their identity, according to the FTC. In some cases, the telemarketer wants you to think the call is from your bank or another company you've done business with.
Sometimes, the phone number may show up as "unknown" or "123456789." Other times, the number is a real one belonging to someone who has no idea his or her number is being misused.
If you have Caller ID, you can choose not to answer calls from numbers you don't recognize or hang up after you learn it’s a robocall, the FTC recommends.
Get the Caller ID information if you can, and file a complaint with:
For more information, see New Rules for Robocalls.